The craft beer and craft distilling businesses have lots in common, so it's great to see their paths intersect from time to time. Koval Distillery in Chicago and gypsy brewer Mikkeller have teamed up for Koval x Mikkeller Single Barrel Whiskey. Using the same grain to bottle distillation Koval is known for, this collaboration whiskey adds a new chocolate malt to the mix as well. This addition not only adds a unique chocolate aroma, but also provides a lightly sweet toffee taste as well.
Even though it's been a staple of the Suntory Whiskey portfolio for nearly a century, sherry and Spanish Oak flavors can easily overpower a whiskey. The Yamazaki Sherry Cask Whiskey has always managed a delicate balance, in large part due to the expert guidance of Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo. For the 2016 vintage, Fukuyo has once again selected casks that bring out the complex flavors that helped the 2013 vintage be named World Whiskey of the Year. And this year's 5,000 bottles use the same lot of whiskies that the 2013 vintage used for its base, suggesting another batch of awards may be in its future.
Distilled in South Tyrol at the foot of the Italian alps comes the first Italian single malt whiskey ever. Puni Italian Malt Whiskey comes from Italian distillers who have only been at it since 2012, but are already establishing themselves amongst serious whiskey fans. Two expressions are included in this release — the first — Puni Nova was matured for three years in American bourbon barrels and finished in European oak casks. Puni Alba was matured for two years in Marsala dessert wine casks and one year in Islay casks. Both are available at 43% ABV or 54% ABV and also arrive in these beautiful bottles.
When a distillery known for their blending skills surprises fans with a limited release, it's worth noting. That's just what High West Distillery in Utah did with Yippee Ki-Yay Rye Whiskey. The juice itself is their Double Rye finished in Syrah barrels from Santa Maria, CA and Vermouth Barrels from Madera, CA. The result is a great pour that's sweet but not too sweet, great in a cocktail or over ice. Available only at the distillery in Utah, at least for this first batch.
For over 40 years, Anchor Christmas Ale has been a holiday fixture for beer lovers. Anchor Christmas Spirit extends that tradition and proves that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Anchor Distilling uses copper pot stills to double distill each batch in San Francisco using the remaining stock of 2014 Christmas Ale. It's then bottled at 90 proof and available for a limited time in California. Each bottle is a holiday celebration that encapsulates the spirit of Christmas past.